Today’s podcast is a little different. I’m sharing the audio from a live taping of The Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape Show that I recorded with Chelsie Rae Lee of SnackNation on LinkedIn. Be sure to follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn for resources to help guide you as we face this pandemic together!
It was a pleasure for me to interview Chelsie Rae Lee, the Chief Revenue Officer at SnackNation for the second time on my podcast. Though Chelsie Rae Lee is the company’s CRO, she’s also responsible for the sales team, customer experience, and customer success. Chelsie and I chat about how she’s worked with her teams to shift business operations during the pandemic, while also being employee and customer-focused. She stresses the importance of communication with customers, the need to create new metrics in the COVID business model, and the value of transparency when it comes to employee experience during these uncertain times.
I think you’ll really enjoy this interview, as Chelsea answers quite a few questions from the audience, giving us a range of insights regarding how she helps manage and measure SnackNation’s success. You might find some of her answers helpful for your own business.
1. Bring Leadership Together
SnackNation delivers healthy snack boxes to company offices on a subscription-based model. Since people have shifted to working from home due to the pandemic, Chelsie and her team had to pivot business operations. In order to be successful with such a transition, Chelsea had to have open, transparent conversations with her team and shares what that experience was like:
“Our leadership team is closer than it’s ever been before. And a lot of that is due to the fact that we meet every day. We talk about our organization as a whole, not in silos, about what are the biggest priorities for us, and how are we pushing forward? And how is every individual contributing to this new launch? I think we were forced because we were relatively good at that before, but we were forced to be excellent at it because we wanted to launch things so quickly. So we launched a work from home product within 10 days, including technology. You can’t do that if you’re not lockstep every day in a room with a group of 10 people figuring it out; I think that’s been the key to our success as well.”
2. Be Empathetic and Communicate with Customers
“So much more communication is happening now. I used to get about 100 emails a day; now it’s like 600 emails a day,” says Chelsie. “But I think, especially with customers, you have to use the words that resonate with them. I use a lot of the language that I hear them telling me in my focus groups. I use that language back when I communicate with the larger audience. It’s not about and you can’t assume that whatever worked yesterday is going to work today. Throw out most of the metrics you have about which subject lines used to get opened because those things still work anymore. I think it really is about connecting with the human and being less salesy.”
“The message at the end of any kind of documentation that resonates most with customers is, ‘I’m here if you need it’, not ‘reach out with questions or concerns.’ Never use the word concerns because then you paint the picture in somebody’s mind that they might have a concern,” Chelsie tells us.
3. Customer Listening is Important: Go Beyond Focus Groups
“It’s important to have a listening platform that has many different components. And it depends on your audience. There should always be a social media listening component because that’s where your employees are telling you things that maybe, you don’t want to hear. Maybe they’re good things, maybe they’re bad things, but listen to those comments. There are the surveys that I send, some of which are very guided around: ‘What do you want next? How can I help you?’ Some of which are very open-ended around: ‘What do you need from SnackNation in the next six months?'”
“I do the focus groups. I do social media listening on both LinkedIn for us because we’re a B2B, mostly B2B, but also Instagram. Twitter is a big place to do a listening program as well. And I usually try to ask NPS across all channels and match it across kind of what product somebody’s got and what type of audience they are,” says Chelsie.
4. Manage Employee Experience
Chelsie tells us, “Your employee experience should be more important to you because it is the foundation of what your customers will experience with you. If people are coming to work and they don’t enjoy things, then they’re not going to provide good service to your customers. […] So as we were trying to decide when to come back to the office for SnackNation, one of the things we heard from our employees was, ‘We feel like we’re in limbo.’ And that’s one of the reasons why we ultimately decided to leave our office, give our employees some amount of certainty. So if they wanted to go for the summer and live somewhere else and work remotely, they could do that. A big part of that decision was around listening to our employees and doing surveys like NPS type of things with our employees and saying, ‘What do you need from us? How can we support you right now?’”
Your employee experience should be more important to you because it is the foundation of what your customers will experience with you. — @chelsieraelee, CRO @snacknation #employeeexperience Click To Tweet
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?
“I wish I knew a lot earlier in my career, how important community is to building what you want to with your customers. And I’m not talking about customer community, I’m talking about your community, people who support you, people who can tell you when you think they think you’re wrong, and you should really look at things. I earlier in my career, I was very much kind of one of those lone wolf types of people, like, ‘I got this, I got this.’ You’re not always gonna ‘got this.’ Being able to have a network of people that you can trust and bounce ideas off of is so important and critical.
About Chelsie Rae LeeSince joining SnackNation in 2016, Chelsie has driven customer growth and experience strategies for SnackNation’s half million B2B and B2C consumers.
Chelsie earned an MBA and PMP License from the University of LaVerne and brings over 15 years of experience managing teams of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500s and everything in between.
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